Thailand: Consultancy – Analysis of MICS Data on Nutrition, Bangkok, Thailand

Organization: UN Children’s Fund
Country: Thailand
Closing date: 24 May 2018

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child,

UNICEF Thailand works to ensure the rights of all children in Thailand. This means the rights of every child living in this country, irrespective of their nationality, gender, religion or ethnicity, to:

survival – to basic healthcare, peace and security; • development – to a good education, a loving home and adequate nutrition; • protection – from abuse, neglect, trafficking, child labour and other forms of exploitation; and • participation – to express opinions, be listened to and take part in making any decisions that affect them

How can you make a difference?

The Social Policy Section, UNICEF Thailand Country Office is seeking an individual consultant to support secondary analysis of the MICS data in order to generate quality evidence for improved policy and programming in the area of nutrition.

Background:

It is widely recognized that Thailand made significant progress in improving malnutrition among infants and young children over the past decades. Existing research shows that economic development, integrated policies, improved access to health services are some of the contributing factors for such progress in Thailand. At the same time, as in many other developing countries, Thailand is facing a “double burden of malnutrition (DBMN)” where both under- and over-nutrition coexist in the same population, with significant implications to multi-sectoral programming on nutrition in Thailand.

Understanding the most recent situation of DBMN as well as its drivers is a critical step in developing evidence-based interventions to address the problem. Recently released data from MICS 5 (2015-2016) offers a much-needed update on the situation of nutrition among children under the age of five, as well as information on indicators that are linked to DBMN, including infant and young child feeding practices, health indicators and other social indicators. Thailand MICS is also an unique set of data that provides provincial-level information for the most disadvantaged fourteen provinces, as well as in the Bangkok small communities, where majority of the residents are affected by urban inequities. Furthermore, as this is the third round of MICS conducted in Thailand, it allows time-series analysis when combined with MICS 3 and MICS 4.

Currently available data from MICS reports only show descriptive statistics, limiting the ability of policymakers and academia to further understand the drivers of malnutrition. Therefore, UNICEF will undertake analysis of existing data to provide a better understanding of the burden, distribution, and drivers of poor nutrition outcomes.

In particular, given the relatively large size of the sample that we have for infants and young children between 6 to 24 months, it would be of particular interest to analyse the correlation between stunting, overweight and concurrency of overweight and stunting and the infant and young child feeding practices. The outputs of the analyses will be used to prepare a research article for submission to an academic journal as well as to update the nutrition landscape analysis that was prepared in 2015 prior to the completion of MICS 5 data. The findings and articles will eventually be used to advise government and development partners on policy and programme focus.

Work Assignment:

Determinants Analysis for Child Malnutrition: The consultant and UNICEF will prepare an analytical report of the drivers of maternal and child undernutrition in Thailand. The objective of the analysis is to provide the updated information on the drivers of malnutrition in Thailand in order to inform programming decisions. The consultant will work with the team to conduct the secondary data analysis. Key variables which will be included in the analysis are listed in Annex 1.

The consultant will segregate the indicators, as per the UNICEF model, as immediate (individual level), intermediate (household and individual), underlying (maternal, household and regional factors). For example, nutrient deficiencies in utero, inadequate breast-feeding, inadequate nutrition after breast-feeding and early life infections are often deemed as immediate causes. Driving these immediate causes are intermediate factors which include, but are not limited to child care practices, domestic violence, household food security, household wealth and assets, maternal and head of household education levels, health service access and availability, hygiene practices and sanitation conditions. All of these are embedded in the larger socio-economic environment

Specific Tasks:

  • Preparing for the analysis (5 days): Develop methodological framework for the analysis in consultation with UNICEF team. Construct all necessary key variables from the raw data and prepare a data set for the analysis under UNICEF’s guidance. Produce descriptive analysis of key indicators.

  • Conduct the analysis (10 days):
  • Create a table of descriptive analysis of all the relevant indicators and its standard errors.
  • Run multinomial regression models to determine the key variables and other statistical procedures, examine results, correct and fine-tune methodological framework, re-run regressions if required iteratively. The regression should identify the correlates of stunting, overweight and concurrency of stunting and overweight.
  • 3. Production (5 days):

  • Draft the methods and results sections for a short paper (publication standard required) on the results after consultation with UNICEF team regarding the results.
  • Update the figures in the nutrition landscape report based on MICS 5 descriptive data including analysis of the time series from MICS 3 and 4.
  • Include the analysis of the drives in the nutrition landscape report, including comparison of the MICS data with other sources of nutrition data.
  • Expected End-Product:

    Submission of a detailed output of the nutrition determinants analysis, as well as .do files that can be used to reproduce these tables. These include all descriptive, bivariate, and multivariate analyses, and relevant figures and tables to be included in the report. The tables should be hyper-linked to Stata output, to allow for updating as necessary. The consultant will be expected to work out of box and create shareable do files.

    Duration :

    20 working days during May-June 2018.

    To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • Advanced degree (preferably PhD, at least master’s degree) in economics, statistics, public policy or a related field.
  • Proficiency in STATA/SPSS.
  • Proficiency in data analysis, statistics, and econometrics.
  • Minimum 3 years of professional work experience in related field, preferably 5 years of experience.
  • Experience in working with MICS data and conducting analysis is preferred.
  • Experience in having publications in peer-reviewed journals, particularly in the area of nutrition or public health.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and sensitively in teams and remotely using file sharing platforms.
  • Knowledge of issues of nutrition and health data analysis.
  • Fluency in English.
  • Previous experience in working with UNICEF or other UN agencies is considered an advantage.
  • For every Child, you demonstrate…

    UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

    View our competency framework at

    http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/files/UNICEF_Competencies.pdf

    UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

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    Interested candidates are requested to submit CV or P11, full contact information of minimum 2 references, availability, and daily professional fee in USD by 24 May 2018.

    Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

    How to apply:

    UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization. To apply, click on the following link http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/?job=513006

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